Glossary

# Cash on Cash Return

## Definition

Cash on Cash Return is a key metric used by real estate investors to assess the profitability of an investment property. It measures the annual return on the actual cash invested in the property, taking into account both rental income and expenses. This ratio is calculated by dividing the property’s annual net operating income by the total cash invested, and is expressed as a percentage. A higher Cash on Cash Return indicates a more lucrative investment opportunity, making it a valuable tool for investors to evaluate and compare different real estate investments.

## Example

Cash on Cash Return: Practical Example

Let’s meet John, an experienced real estate investor who is considering purchasing a rental property. He wants to analyze the potential profitability of the investment and decides to calculate the cash on cash return.

John finds a property listed for \$200,000 in a desirable neighborhood. After conducting thorough research and analysis, he estimates that the property will generate an annual rental income of \$20,000. Taking into account all the expenses associated with the property, including property taxes, insurance, maintenance, and management fees, he calculates the annual operating expenses to be \$5,000.

To determine the cash on cash return, John divides the annual net operating income (\$20,000 – \$5,000 = \$15,000) by the total cash investment required for the property. In this case, he plans to put a 20% down payment (\$200,000 x 0.2 = \$40,000) and finance the remaining amount with a mortgage.

Therefore, John’s total cash investment is \$40,000. Dividing the annual net operating income of \$15,000 by the total cash investment of \$40,000, he finds that the cash on cash return for this investment is 37.5% (\$15,000 / \$40,000 = 0.375 or 37.5%).

John is pleased with this result as it indicates that he can expect to earn a 37.5% return on his cash investment each year. This return is significantly higher than other investment options available to him, such as stocks or bonds.

When discussing his investment strategy with his friend Sarah, John proudly states, “I carefully analyzed the potential returns of the rental property I’m considering. The cash on cash return is an impressive 37.5%, which means I can earn a substantial annual return on my cash investment.”

Intrigued by the concept, Sarah decides to calculate the cash on cash return for a property she is considering, realizing that it is an essential metric to evaluate the profitability of real estate investments.’

Remember, when calculating the cash on cash return, it is crucial to consider all the relevant expenses associated with the property to accurately assess its profitability. This metric allows real estate investors to compare the potential returns of different investment opportunities and make informed decisions.

## FAQ's

Q: What is Cash on Cash Return in real estate investing?
A: Cash on Cash Return is a financial metric used by real estate investors to assess the profitability of an investment property. It measures the annual return on the actual cash invested in the property.

Q: How is Cash on Cash Return calculated?
A: To calculate Cash on Cash Return, divide the property’s annual net operating income (NOI) by the total cash invested, which includes the down payment, closing costs, and any upfront renovations or repairs.

Q: Why is Cash on Cash Return important for real estate investors?
A: Cash on Cash Return provides investors with a clear understanding of the potential return on their invested cash. It helps evaluate the property’s performance and compare it to other investment opportunities.

Q: What is considered a good Cash on Cash Return?
A: The ideal Cash on Cash Return varies depending on factors like location, property type, and investor goals. Generally, a higher Cash on Cash Return is preferred, but what is considered good can differ between investors. It’s crucial to consider individual circumstances and risk tolerance.

Q: How does Cash on Cash Return differ from other return metrics?
A: Cash on Cash Return focuses solely on the cash invested in a property, while other return metrics, such as Return on Investment (ROI), consider the property’s total value. Cash on Cash Return provides a more accurate representation of the return on the actual money invested.

Q: Can Cash on Cash Return be negative?
A: Yes, Cash on Cash Return can be negative if the property’s annual net operating income is lower than the cash invested. This indicates a loss on the investment.

Q: How can Cash on Cash Return be improved?
A: To improve Cash on Cash Return, investors can increase the property’s net operating income by raising rental rates, reducing expenses, or adding value through renovations. Additionally, finding properties with lower purchase prices or negotiating better financing terms can also enhance the return.

Q: Are there any limitations to using Cash on Cash Return?
A: While Cash on Cash Return is a valuable metric, it does not account for potential appreciation or tax benefits associated with real estate investing. It is essential to consider other factors, such as market conditions and long-term investment goals, in conjunction with Cash on Cash Return when making investment decisions.

Q: Can Cash on Cash Return help determine the risk associated with an investment property?
A: Yes, Cash on Cash Return can provide insight into the risk associated with an investment property. Generally, a higher Cash on Cash Return indicates a potentially higher return and a higher level of risk. Investors must carefully assess the risk-reward tradeoff based on their investment strategy and risk tolerance.

Q: Is Cash on Cash Return the only factor to consider when evaluating investment properties?
A: No, Cash on Cash Return is just one of many factors to consider when evaluating investment properties. Other important factors include location, property condition, market trends, potential for appreciation, rental demand, financing options, and the investor’s long-term goals. A comprehensive analysis is crucial for making informed investment decisions.